Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What Works

Steps, tips, and strategies, depending on their content, can be valid applications of biblical teaching. But any approach to Christian living that rests on our own positive attitudes, good behavior, or optimistic self-motivation is bound to fail. Faith in anything but Jesus, even if our own "Jesusified" thoughts and feelings, is not saving faith.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)

Now, we can always manage the appearance of something on our own. We can look spiritual or successful; just like Christians who aren't abiding in Jesus can look like they have it all together, churches who do not abide in Jesus can grow in status and numbers.

But the real fruit of real growth, real Spirit-planted and Spirit-nurtured growth, comes from full-on, dead ahead, the world be damned and my sin be killed all-out faith in Jesus. In Jesus' life, in Jesus' work. Not in our steps to purpose or power but in Jesus' steps to the cross and Jesus' steps out of the tomb.

A Christian and a church that lives and leads with "Jesus + nothing" will bear real fruit.


At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Jonathan Davis said...


I agree with you, except that these steps and tips that you speak of can be used by certain people to get them towards the real gospel. The question can they get to the real gospel period if the real gospel isnt preached.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Jared said...

Yep. That's sort of what I meant with the very first line in the post.

I agree that steps and tips are important; I only mean that putting our trust in them is worthless.

Your point about the "real Gospel" is very, very important, as well.


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